Thomas Almeida Says He's Living His Dream as an MMA Fighter
Posted by Jeremy Thomas on 06.17.2013
Undefeated prospect talks about his start in the sport and more...
Thomas Almeida recently spoke about his experiences in MMA and more. Check out the highlights:
On his beginning in MMA: "I started training muay Thai only at 13 years old. Around 16, I started competing, and I haven't stopped since. I've often competed in tournaments, since that's so common in muay Thai. I would fight two or three times in one evening. I've been doing that since I was 16. Then, in early 2011, I had my first professional MMA fight. Ever since then I've only fought MMA."
On his parents' reaction to his career choice: "They always voiced opposition to it. My father would pay my monthly dues because he's always been involved in sports. But he was never in favor of me participating in combat competitions. As time went by, my family realized it was something I loved, to which I showed dedication, something that kept me from distractions. Now they give me their full support. They certainly didn't like it at first, but now they're my biggest fans."
On public perception of the sport: "The rules have improved since the early days. Now MMA is less shocking to the casual viewer. Old PRIDE bouts, with head stomps and piledrivers, that was a bit shocking. With today's rules, the sport is more 'professional.' It's truly a sport now. People see MMA with different eyes now. The Unified Rules were a great improvement. That even helped my family understand MMA, though, as I said, they primarily changed their minds after they understood my passion and dedication."
On his love of MMA: "Ever since I was a child I enjoyed this. I wake up early and feel happy to be able to train. I would very much like to finish college. I do not enjoy leaving things undone. But my greater dream is to make a living from fighting, make it to the UFC and be a top-ranked fighter. I would love to accomplish both, but fighting takes priority now. I have this dream. I don't know why I have this dream. But to achieve excellence, a championship belt, to be one of the top fighters in the world, that keeps me going – to be the best."